Buying the Best Sewing Machine for You

with ZJ Humbach
Session 1: Introduction


You Get with Your Class:

  • In-depth Instruction – 85 minutes
  • On-demand video access – anytime
  • Indefinite access. Pay once, view forever
  • Printable bonus materials
  • Access to Class-only, Q&A with instructor

Don’t be intimidated when it comes time to buy a new sewing machine. ZJ Humbach will help you quickly sort through the different categories of machines, critical specs, marketing labels, and even pricing.

Are you overwhelmed by the various options and numerous stitches on today’s machines? Wondering what are the features and benefits? ZJ will cover all of that.

A new machine is a big purchase, and the best one is based on YOU. Learn how to determine what you really need with a thoughtful evaluation process.

You absolutely need to test drive sewing machines before buying. Get the insider’s look at how to effectively test drive machines and what are the “must ask” questions for the dealer.

Once you are ready to finalize your purchase ZJ will share some tips on how to get the best deal possible along with some key tips for safely bringing your new baby home.

Once you have your new machine you want to protect it. ZJ includes a special bonus project in class: Quilted Machine Cover. The quilted machine cover is easy, fun, and will keep your machine dust free. You’ll also learn how to make and apply double-fold binding.

ZJ Humbach

ZJ Humbach is a professional longarm quilter and pattern designer who owns and operates Dream Stitcher Quilt Studio in Nederland, Colorado. Her work appears in McCall’s Quilting, Quilters Newsletter, and Quiltmaker magazines. A former Quilters Newsletter editor, she wrote a longarm quilting column, “Finish Line,” for each issue. Now ZJ is a freelance writer for Quilters Newsletter and the Studio Arts Quilt Associates (SAQA) Journal. She also quilts regularly for Connecting Threads.

  • Q: Won’t I save money buying a machine on the Internet? A: Possibly, but in the long run, you may regret it. If you buy on the Internet, you will miss out on orientation classes, which are invaluable. The more complex the machine, the more critical these classes become to your success and enjoyment. It also hurts small business and having a relationship with your local dealer can be invaluable, especially when you need help or service.
  • Q: Why shouldn’t I just buy the same machine as my friend? A: Your friend’s choice of machine may or may not be the right choice for you. There are many factors involved in choosing a machine, from the type of sewing that you do to budget, from option preferences to how much machine do you want. Often, people are brand loyal and really can’t tell you why they like a particular machine—they just do. It’s nice to have your friend’s input, but you need to research and test drive machines to find the best one for you.
  • Q: If someone has never sewed before, shouldn’t s/he just buy the cheapest machine? A: Absolutely not! Prices at the low end are indicative of quality. Typically, the machines end up being very problematic, and people give up sewing due to the frustration. I recommend buying the best machine you can afford that meets your needs, preferably a solid mid-level machine. Not only will it be more reliable, you’ll have room to grow with the machine as your skills expand. Sewing is a lifelong hobby—invest in your future!
  • Q: Shouldn’t my machine come with a zipper foot? A: You would think so, but today several manufacturers are not including a zipper foot as a standard accessory. Check which accessories come with your machine before you purchase it. Thankfully, you can always add more!
  • Q: Why should I buy accessories? Doesn’t the standard foot do it all? A: While the standard foot handles many tasks, you will enjoy sewing more and have more professional looking projects if you use the right tool for the job. Accessories are designed to make sewing easier. Thankfully, most accessories don’t cost that much, can often be used for more than one task, and last a long, long time. Treat yourself—you’ll be glad you did!

Bonus Materials Included

  • Class Resource: Must Have Accessories
  • Class Resource: Cost Analysis
  • Class Resource: Test Drive Checklist
  • Class Resource: Sewing Machine Comparison Checklist
  • Class Project: Quilted Sewing Machine Cover